So Many Books, So Little Time! Here’s the next installment in my, “Books Off the Shelf” series. As ever, I will attempt to give you an idea on some books you might enjoy or not enjoy quite as much without ruining it with too many spoilers.
Cephrael's Hand: A Pattern of Shadow & Light Book One by Melissa McPhail
Rating 8 out of 10
“All things are composed of patterns...” And within the pattern of the realm of Alorin, three strands must cross:
In Alorin...three hundred years after the genocidal Adept Wars, the realm is dying, and the blessed Adept race dies with it. One man holds the secret to reverting this decline: Bjorn van Gelderan, a dangerous and enigmatic man whose shocking betrayal three centuries past earned him a traitor’s brand. It is the Adept Vestal Raine D’Lacourte’s mission to learn what Bjorn knows in the hope of salvaging his race. But first he’ll have to find him...
In the kingdom of Dannym...the young Prince Ean val Lorian faces a tenuous future as the last living heir to the coveted Eagle Throne. When his blood-brother is slain during a failed assassination, Ean embarks on a desperate hunt for the man responsible. Yet his advisors have their own agendas, and his quest for vengeance leads him ever deeper into a sinuous plot masterminded by a mysterious and powerful man, the one they call First Lord...
In the Nadori desert...tormented by the missing pieces of his life, a soldier named Trell heads off to uncover the truth of his shadowed past. But when disaster places him in the debt of Wildlings sworn to the First Lord, Trell begins to suspect a deadlier, darker secret motivating them.
What a story! What a story! What a story! In Cephrael’s Hand, McPhail has undertaken an epic tale in every respect of the word.
The story is edged in a dying world, torn by war. The Adept race of people born into one of the five magical strands is slowly dying out and the magic they possess is dying with them.
Into this world we get to follow after two young men, Ean and Trell. Coming from opposite ends of the war ridden land, these two are intertwined into the only hope the world may have for renewal and survival.
The further I dove into this book the more clear my vision became of the unfolding story. This happened at the same time as the plot became more intricately woven. A beautiful dichotomy of a well-crafted story. If you like large, sweeping epics, this book is for you.
My only complaint about the book is that the beginning was a bit meandering with some few dialogue spots that felt forced. I still enjoyed the beginning of the book, but I was fully sucked in as the tale got more fully underway and the characters found their voices.
That being said, by the end I was fully engrossed, fully invested, and ready for book number two. I can’t wait to see what happens in The Dagger of Adendigaeth.
If you’ve read Cephrael’s Hand, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave a message below. And if you have suggestions of books to review, please let me know. If it is Science Fiction or Fantasy, there is a good chance it is on my shelf or should be.
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Ryan J. Doughan